Did Diana Have An Eating Disorder

Princess Diana Blamed Bulimia On ‘chubby’ Comment From Charles And Camilla Affair

Princess Diana’s speech on eating disorders

Princess Diana’s battle with the eating disorder bulimia, which began before she married Prince Charles, is featured in season four of The Crown on Netflix

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Princess Diana claimed her devastating battle with bulimia was caused by a “chubby” comment made by her husband, Prince Charles, and the heartbreak of his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.

The late Princess of Wales spoke about suffering from the eating disorder, explaining it went on for “many years” and was her form of release.

The heartbreaking story has been included in the new series of The Crown, and Netfix has released a warning due to the graphic content.

In secret tapes recorded for biographer Andrew Morton, which became the book Diana: Her True Story, Diana claims her struggle began a week after she got engaged to Charles when he made a comment about her figure.

The secret tapes, which Morton released in 2017, reveal how the vulnerable princess began losing weight even before her wedding day.

She said: “The bulimia started the week after we got engaged.

“My husband put his hand on my waistline and said: Oh, a bit chubby here, arent we? and that triggered off something in me.

“And the Camilla thing. I was desperate, desperate.

“I remember the first time I made myself sick.

“I was so thrilled because I thought this was the release of tension.”

Diana lost a huge amount of weight between fittings for her wedding dress, and the design team had to work to make the famous gown smaller.

Wrong: The Series Omits A Key Trigger

One thing the series leaves out in Dianas struggles with an eating disorder is the fact that she claimed it started when her then-fiancé Prince Charles made a critical comment about her weight. In 1997, Diana told Newsweek, put his hand on my waistline and said, Oh, a bit chubby here, arent we? Although experts agree that there usually isnt one single cause of eating disorders, they do suggest that critical comments or teasing about a persons weight can contribute to the condition.

People Called Diana Unstable

Instead of viewing her bulimia as a symptom of a deeper problem, Diana told BBC1 that she was called “unstable” by others. “The cause was the situation where my husband and I had to keep everything together because we didn’t want to disappoint the public, and yet obviously there was a lot of anxiety going on within our four walls,” she said.

Did Princess Diana Have An Eating Disorder In Real Life The Crowns Heartbreaking Scene

Princess Diana is played by actress Emma Corrin in season four of The Crown, which is airing on Netflix. In one of the episodes, shortly after Lady Diana Spencer was engaged to Prince Charles she is seen struggling with an eating disorder. Viewers are interested to find out whether Princess Diana had an eating disorder in real life.

Princess Diana’s Candid Interviews Shed Light On Her Internal Conflict

Known as the “The People’s Princess,” Diana’s status as one of the common folk prior to marrying Prince Charles only increased her reliability and ability to connect with others. She was extremely charitable and frequently worked with children, presenting a picture of someone with empathy and compassion. 

In an extremely candid interview with journalist Martin Bashir for BBC Ones Panorama in 1995, Princess Diana admitted to her battle with bulimia, and described her condition as a secret disease and a symptom of what was going on in my marriage.” She also admitted to having bulimia for a number of years. 

While a symptom but not the cause, Princess Diana explained that part of the reason she struggled with bulimia was based on her life in the spotlight and her marriage to Prince Charles. Princess Diana said it was an escape mechanism which worked, for me, at that time. When Bashir asked if her bulimia lasted two or three years, she replied: A little bit more than that. But Im free of it now.

Thankfully, at the time of the interview she was in recovery. But it’s clear that being in the public eye and having people scrutinize her marriage, her appearance, and her background was a significant stressor in Diana’s life. Those who are also trying to reclaim themselves from bulimia have taken inspiration from her story, emphasizing the importance of speaking about mental health.

Wrong: Eating Disorders Are Just A Psychological Problem

The Crown deftly reveals how low self-esteem, feelings of isolation, social pressures, and relationship issues can contribute to eating disorders. What it leaves out is the role the brain plays in the condition. Based on the brain SPECT imaging work at Amen Clinics160,000 brain scans from patients in 150 countriespeople with eating disorders tend to have abnormal activity in certain areas of the brain. Typical SPECT findings in eating disorders include overactivity in the anterior cingulate gyrus and basal ganglia , and issues in the parietal lobe . Healing the brain with a targeted treatment plan is an essential part of the recovery process.

Eating disorders cant wait.At Amen Clinics, we use brain SPECT imaging as part of a wrap-around evaluation and treatment plan for people struggling with eating disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. We believe in using the least toxic, most effective therapies and strategies to optimize your brain function to help you regain control of your eating and learn to love your life again.

We are available for in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.

Princess Diana’s Real Life Struggle Is Examined On The Latest Season Of ‘the Crown’

Producers of The Crown on Netflix, as well as actress Emma Corrin, who portrays Princess Diana, have taken great care that Diana’s illness was accurately and sensitively covered on the show. Emma even stated in an interview that she “felt that if we were trying to depict bulimia in an honest way, we had to actually show it otherwise its a disservice to anyone who has been through that.” 

The producers have also stated that in their research and filming of the difficult subject, they consulted with a bulimia-related charity and included warnings for the episode for the graphic content that could be triggering to survivors. Many who have already seen the episode praise Netflix for this forethought.

Princess Diana’s life was not the fairytale it seemed to be, but fans of both The Crown and Princess Diana are glad her legacy will continue to inspire those struggling with eating disorders and eating disorder survivors. The Crown‘s fourth season will be released on Netflix on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. 

If you or someone you know needs help, use SAMHSAs Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find support for mental health and substance use disorders in your area: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov , or call 1-800-662-4357 for 24-hour assistance.

The Crown Depicts Princess Dianas Bulimia In Unflinching Detail

In the third episode of The Crowns fourth season, Lady Diana moves from a flat she shares with friends to Buckingham Palace, where she finds royal life strict and alienating. When shes not being instructed on being a princess, shes alone.

About halfway into the episode, Diana wanders into the kitchen and devours a selection of desserts, then purges immediately after, the first of many such instances that The Crown depicts over the years. Netflix includes a trigger warning before episode three, but those who are struggling or have struggled with an eating disorder may find it difficult to watchand according to the experts at NEDA, these scenes might go too far.

Depicting behaviors like binging and purging on-screen may trigger those who have eating disorders and who are in recovery, because it can unintentionally be a how to guide, says Chelsea Kronengold, NEDAs Communications Manager. Spreading awareness about eating disorders is critical, but theres a fine line between doing it responsibly and triggering people.

Viewers are divided on the scenes that depict her condition. There were 1,000 other ways to show Dianas anguish and the battle she was facing than that, one person tweeted. Princess Dianas bulimia issues are portrayed quite graphically in this. Quite intense, another wrote.

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Princess Diana’s speech on eating disorders

The organization didnt provide input into the series, but episodes that show Diana binging and purging begin with a trigger warning that prepares the audience for scenes of an eating disorder which some viewers may find troubling. It also invites those struggling with the illness to visit a website with links to resources, including a link to NEDA.

Bulik was pleased with the trigger warning. She also praised the portrayal for showing Dianas emotional turmoil, and her lack of resources to express her feelings.

When she started eating the piece of chocolate cake at the refrigerator, it opened the door and sort of provided some release for all these pent-up emotions, she said.

That was actually very, very accurate because binge eating and purging is often a release for uncomfortable emotions when you don’t have other methods of regulating them.

What Did The Palace Think About Dianas Illness

In The Crown season four, the rest of the royal family are shown to be aware of Dianas bulimia, but dont offer her help or advice.

When Diana sought professional help with her eating disorder in real life, Prince Charles allegedly derided her efforts. At mealtimes he would watch her eat and say: Is that going to reappear later? What a waste, according to Andrew Morton.

Catherine Mayers biography of Prince Charles, Charles: The Heart of a King, indicates the royal may have been emotionally unprepared to cope with Dianas mental health issues, saying: He courted Diana only briefly before the engagement, itself just five months long. He didnt understand her at all or recognise the baggage she carried from an upbringing as difficult in its way as his own. The more he sensed she was not the jolly country girl he had assumed, the more she revealed her vulnerabilities and began to succumb to the eating disorder that would dog her for much of the rest of her life, the more he struggled with the prospect of marriage.

In her Panorama interview, Diana said bulimia was her escape mechanism from the pressures of royal life and her troubled marriage. She described how those around her at the time would accuse her of wasting food: It was just,`I suppose youre going to waste that food later on? And that was pressure in itself. And of course I would.

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Bulimia patients usually need help to recover and the treatment of choice is cognitive behavioral therapy, Bulik said. Princess Diana underwent treatment in the late 1980s, which was not shown in the current season of The Crown.

An eating disorder can be really isolating and it’s sometimes something that people feel like they need to keep a secret because of stigma, Smolar said.

We’re hopeful that when we’re seeing conversations like this one, its going to raise awareness and help people recognize this is an opportunity to get help and that they aren’t alone.

Diana Found Release Of Tension In Bulimia

On the tapes, Diana continued to talk about her bulimia. She recounted the first time she purged after a meal.

I was desperate, desperate. I remember the first time I made myself sick. I was so thrilled because I thought this was the release of tension, Diana said.

She went on to discuss how she lost so much weight from her first fitting for her wedding dress to her wedding day.

The first time I was measured for my wedding dress, I was 29 inches around the waist. The day I got married, I was 23½ inches. I had shrunk into nothing from February to July. I had shrunk to nothing, she said.

Its Been Decades Since Dianas Battle With Bulimia But Society Still Isnt Handling It Properly

Why are so many being turned away for treatment?

Jeni was 20 years old, going into her second year of university in Leicester, when she first started making herself sick. Her boyfriend had suddenly left her, leaving her heartbroken and with very low self-esteem.

Because of the break-up, I just didnt have an appetite, Jeni says. Then people started commenting on the fact Id lost weight. It made me feel good at a time when my confidence was at an all-time low. I thought, How can I keep this up?

Thats when she started the binge-purge cycle; uncontrollably eating large quantities of food before forcing herself to vomit. Id go to the corner shop and buy a ridiculous amount of food triple sandwiches, big bags of crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks binge-eat them in a specific order, then purge until there was nothing left. It completely took over my life.

When Jeni saw her doctor, she was told that her potassium levels were so low due to electrolyte imbalances caused by vomiting that she was at risk of having a heart attack. She was referred for therapy but relapsed dangerously five years later, making herself sick around six times a day.

I was scared so eventually I went to my GP for help, Jeni says. But my doctor told me I wasnt underweight enough for treatment. I was crushed. Id always felt like a fraud for having an eating disorder and not being skinny, and that just confirmed it.

We must recognise the prevalence of bulimia in women over 30

Health & Wellnessa Perfect Storm: Why The Pandemic Has Made It Harder For People With Eating Disorders

A study examining how the COVID-19 epidemic has impacted people with eating disorders found those with bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder reported increases in their binge-eating episodes and urges to binge.

Adding The Crown into the mix could be almost like a double whammy for some of them, Bulik said. This is a really high-risk time for relapse because there’s so much uncertainty and so much anxiety, and so this could be just something else.

One of the biggest misconceptions about bulimia is that its a choice, both Bulik and Smolar emphasized. Experts believe its triggered by a person’s biology and life events.

Bulimia Escape Mechanism For Diana

I didnt like myself, I was ashamed I couldnt cope with the pressures, Princess Diana said on the tapes. I had bulimia for a number of years, and thats like a secret disease. Its a repetitive pattern which is very destructive. It was my escape mechanism.

Bulimia generally starts in the late teens or early adulthood, according to the Mayo Clinic. And that puts Princess Diana right in line with when the disease typically presents itself. She got engaged to Prince Charles at the age of 19.

The Show Makes Recovery Look Easier Than It Is In Reality

Andrew Walen, eating disorder expert and founder of The Body Image Therapy Center told Insider the show doesn’t accurately represent the struggles that Diana would have gone through in order to recover. 

“The most recent shot of her going to purge was her going over the toilet and deciding she won’t do it. She sat down and hugged herself and decided she wouldn’t purge. I don’t see that as reality,” Walen told Insider.

He added: “For anyone else trying to recover, they know that it’s not real.”

In the National Geographic documentary, “Diana: In Her Own Words,” which features audio footage of the royal, Diana said it wasn’t until she started seeing a therapist that her mental health changed for the better.

“Do people spontaneously recover without therapy? It does happen, sure,” Walen told Insider. “But it’s typically because their lives become more manageable. Her life didn’t become more manageable, it became less manageable. I think they did a disservice to that experience, and what having an eating disorder is like.”

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How do I tell if I have an eating disorder?

The disorder is a genetically-influenced illness not something associated with vanity or wanting to look a certain way, Bulik noted. She leads an international consortium on the genetics of eating disorders and is seeking participants for the worlds largest study on the subject.

People sometimes say, Well, why don’t you just stop? From my perspective, that’s like telling someone with asthma, Well, why don’t you just breathe? she said.

The first step to get help can be talking with a primary care physician now is an excellent time because telemedicine is widely available.

People can also reach out to an organization like the National Eating Disorders Association, which offers support and resources.

Diana Spoke About Her Struggle In Her Own Words

It’s true that early in her royal relationship, Diana began struggling with bulimia, which, according to nationaleatingdisorders.org, is “a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating.”

Diana, who at first did her best to keep the problem under wraps, spoke openly about her struggle in 1995, by which point she had received the help she needed, telling the BBC, “You inflict it upon yourself because your self-esteem is at a low ebb, and you don’t think you’re worthy or valuable… it gives you a feeling of comfort. It’s like having a pair of arms around you, but it’s… temporary” .

When discussing her personal life with her biographer, Andrew Moran, she said that Queen Elizabeth had blamed her eating disorder for the degradation of her marriage, which, at the time, shocked Diana. Diana said, “She hung her coat on the hook, so to speak… And it made me realize that they all saw that as the cause of the marriage problems and not one of the symptoms.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please call the National Eating Disorders Hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

Inside The Crowns Depiction Of Princess Dianas Bulimia

The CrownEmma Corrin

    Save this story for later.

It doesnt take long for Princess Dianas fizzy fairy tale to turn flat in the fourth season of The Crown. Three episodes in, a newly engaged Diana finds herself living a lonely existence inside Buckingham Palaceher royal fiancé, a virtual stranger, overseas and incommunicado; her future in-laws, emotionally unavailable and uninterested in getting to know her; and her impending marriage, doomed by Charless affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Isolated and desperately sad, Princess Diana exorcises her pain by binging on the queens desserts and purging in the palace toilets.

For Emma Corrin, accurately depicting Dianas battle with bulimia was of paramount importancenot only because of the responsibility she felt after doing extensive research into the illness and reading eating-disorder survivors deeply personal accounts, but because Corrin, a former model, had confronted issues of mental illness herself.

I have struggled with my mental health, and I know what it is like to want to make your emotions tangible, to want to exercise some control over things that feel out of your gripso it made me empathize a great deal with this character, Corrin told Vanity Fair this August. I think its important eating disorders and mental health are shown sensitively but accurately on-screen, so that conversations are startedso that awareness is built.

More Great Stories AboutThe Crown

‘the Crown’ Leaves Out Key Details Of Diana’s Experience With Bulimia

“The Crown” didn’t include what Diana said was a trigger for her eating disorder. Speaking in the National Geographic documentary, the princess said the bulimia started when Charles “put his hand on my waistline and said: ‘Oh, a bit chubby here, aren’t we?'”

“In my experience as a clinician, body image is the number one drive towards that behavior,” Walen told Insider. “So it would make more sense if that stemmed from an insult from her husband I think that’s really important information.”

Renee McGregor, a sports and eating disorder specialist dietitian, said the show’s interpretation of how the bulimia started is something that’s relatable to other people who have experienced bulimia.

McGregor told Insider that Charles going away to Australia and leaving Diana alone could have led to her “spiral of negative thoughts” and self-criticism. 

The show skips over the Prince and Princess of Wales’ wedding day, only showing a glimpse of Diana in her wedding dress. The next episode shows the couple as parents to a young Prince William. 

In reality, Diana had bulimia during her first pregnancy, and it’s something she spoke about in the “Diana: In Her Own Words” documentary. 

Speaking about her first official visit to Wales with Charles in 1981, Diana said she was pregnant at the time and that she didn’t have any energy “because I was being sick with bulimia so much.”

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Diana Linked The Start Of Her Disorder To An Insult From Charlesa Fact That The Crown Omits

Diana herself said that the eating disorder stemmed from a remark by her fiancé just a week after their engagement. put his hand on my waistline and said, Oh, a bit chubby here, arent we? she told Newsweek.

The Crown, meanwhile, doesnt include this detail. While its clear that the eating disorder stems from the pain and stress of Lady Dianas new life, Prince Charles doesnt come across as having a direct role in triggering it. In fact, he even appears sympathetic in episode six, calling himself horrified after learning of his wifes bulimia.

The Heartbreaking Reason Princess Diana Suffered From Bulimia

  • April 14, 2019

In hindsight, Princess Dianas nickname the peoples princess became more poignant after her death in 1997 when it became public knowledge that she was the secret source in Andrew Mortons book, Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words, in which she spoke about her bulimia.

Her struggle with bulimia demonstrated that she truly embodied what it meant to be the peoples princess. She was not immune to disease or illness like her people were not immune to any ailments. Keep reading to learn the origin of Dianas bulimia and how the princess herself described the disease.

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Right: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

To the adoring public, Princess Dianas life looked perfectshe was beautiful, slender, dressed in the finest gowns, and lived in a castle. But people who look like they have everything going for them are not immune to eating disorders or other psychiatric issues. These problems can affect anyone, including those who appear to have it all. In The Crown, Lady Dianas disordered eating remains her hidden secret, which is the case for many who suffer from bulimia. As opposed to people with other types of eating disorderssuch as anorexia, which is associated with extreme weight lossthose with bulimia are often able to maintain a normal body weight despite their disordered eating.

Wrong: Trigger Warnings Are Enough

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Although Netflix provides a warning before episodes that some depictions may be troubling, these warnings may not work as intended. The graphic scenes in the Crown can be viewed as a how-to in some cases, and they may be triggering for anyone who is suffering with or recovering from an eating disorder, such as bulimia, anorexia nervosa, or binge eating.

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